Zambia map

Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda said the government is surprised that the opposition party decided to embark on such a program without informing the ministry which is currently running a similar program called the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP).

Zambia mapThe remarks came after former Finance Minister Edith Nawakwi, who leads the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), launched an agriculture start-up program for small-scale farmers on Wednesday.

The opposition leader said the program is aimed at supporting small-scale farmers with various high value agricultural products for a period of three years to enable them generate higher incomes.

“As government, we have not allowed the FDD to operate a program similar to FISP and the government is not even aware of this program, its objectives and coverage and we have only heard it in the media,” he spoke in parliament after lawmakers asked if the government has asked the opposition party to run such a project.

The Zambian minister said the government will be disappointed if the opposition party has embarked on the project in order to win voters ahead of next year’s general elections but indicated that the law does not bar organizations to run such type of programs.

The Zambian minister has since urged the opposition party to liaise with his ministry on their programs to ensure that there is no duplication.

The Zambian government has been running a subsidized farmer support programs to help small scale farmers by providing them with fertilizer and seeds. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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